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NEIWPCC Responds to EPA’s Proposed PFAS Rule

Posted on Tuesday, June 1st, 2021 | Posted in News

plastic water bottles floating in the waterNEIWPCC joined with several other water associations in authorizing a letter responding to the EPA’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, “Clean Water Act Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards: Organic Chemicals, Plastics and Synthetic Fibers Point Source Category.”

The letter was developed by the Association of Clean Water Administrators’ (ACWA) PFAS subcommittee and staff, with input from ACWA’s Monitoring, Standards and Assessment, and Permitting and Compliance Committees.

In carrying out the programs of the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and other national and state environmental statutes, states must address national regulatory changes and data collection efforts that can affect their ability to manage surface water, drinking water, and cross-media pollutants. Development of the future rule will enable states to acquire PFAS data towards state- and site-specific PFAS standards and regulations.

PFAS standards would allow states, the EPA, and their stakeholders to better control and prevent PFAS pollution, with a holistic and integrated water management approach. This includes working across EPA programs and with other federal agencies to ensure complete consideration of potential impacts to human health, aquatic life, drinking water, and the environment from PFAS throughout any part or all of a chemical’s lifecycle – from manufacturing through processing, distribution, and disposal.

The letter outlines specific considerations of state environmental programs for the EPA in regard to the future rule, and list seven specific recommendations:

  • Collaborate on PFAS data collection and sharing.
  • Engage with states on PFAS in general.
  • Integrate data collection opportunities into the suite of EPA activities into the future, with specific focus on discharge data and treatment options.
  • Develop PFAS discharge prioritization guidance for states.
  • Evaluate other ELG categories that may apply to industries in which PFAS discharges have been quantified or may exist.
  • Consider developing PFAS standard(s) for facilities using PFAS in products or processes, potentially beyond the scope identified in this future rule.
  • Use existing data in addition to generating new PFAS data.

The associations urge the EPA to use its nation-wide leveraging capabilities to take action, and an integrated, cross-media, cross-statute approach for these persistent, bioaccumulative compounds, which do or have the potential to harm human health and aquatic life.